In a nutshell, as the saying goes, the Watchtower teaches that the parable of the wheat and the weeds applies to the entire Christian era. Jesus began sowing the fine wheat seed back in the first century, but by the second century, the Devil had already begun to over-sow the field with weeds. Supposedly, all down through the centuries there have always been a few genuine anointed Christians scattered about, but they have been vastly overshadowed by the imitations. But then in 1914, Jesus Christ is believed to have returned, although Jehovah’s Witnesses do not use that particular term.
Nevertheless, the harvest is believed to have begun shortly thereafter – the harvest is a conclusion of a system of things – and the International Bible Students are said to have distinguished themselves as the genuine wheat; whereas, the churchgoers of Christendom have since been identified as the weeds and have consequently been bundled up and are scheduled to be pitched into the blazing furnace. There are, however, a number of difficulties with the Watchtower’s interpretation.
The most obvious discrepancy is the fact, as also pointed out in the previous blog entry in connection with the Society’s interpretation of the dragnet, the false Christians that were supposedly uprooted back in 1918, or whenever, have all died off anyway, before they experienced the weeping and gnashing of their teeth, or were tossed into the fiery furnace. Are Jehovah’s Witnesses to assume that the masses of misled churchgoers who have passed away will not even qualify for the resurrection of the unrighteous, but have experienced the judgment of the fires of Gehenna? If not, then how can it be that the angels have brought about the harvest?
Also, according to Jesus the angels not only uproot the weeds, but they also “collect out from his kingdom all things that cause stumbling,” as well as “all persons doing lawlessness.” Please take note of the fact, that, although this is part of the parable Jesus related, and is even part of the assigned reading for the Watchtower study, the Governing Body neglects to even comment upon what this may mean. But why is that?
It is understood, or at least it should be, that in this context “his kingdom” is a reference to Christ’s congregation. Paul told the Colossian Christians that they had been “transferred into the kingdom” of the Son of God’s love. But if the angels were dispatched a century ago, are we to believe that all things that cause stumbling have been removed from the midst of the Christian congregation? How can that possibly be? What about Rutherford’s Beth Sarim fiasco? How many were stumbled because the princes were not resurrected back in 1925? Without doubt even larger numbers of Jehovah’s Witnesses were stumbled by the 1975 belly-flop. And what about the Watchtower’s secret 10-year partnership with the United Nations? How many were stumbled by Bethel’s treachery and lying cover-up of it? Even if it were merely for the use of the UN’s library, which is not true, but even if that was the case, it was still an act of indiscretion that has the potential to needlessly stumble others. Or how about the tens of thousands of children of Jehovah’s Witnesses who have been raped and molested by fellow congregants, and the fact that, in some cases anyway, the legal department strong-armed elders and prevented them from taking more aggressive action against known molesters? Or, what about the unseemly backdoor lawyering, where attorneys for the Society have filed legal briefs claiming elders do not have any responsibility to protect the children in the congregations from the crimes of deviants?
Are not all these the“things that cause stumbling”? And have not untold numbers already had their faith wrecked by these very things?
Isn’t it time to face the truth and come to terms with the fact that the Watchtower Society is rife with stumbling blocks? In fact, it is the source of them!
Another discrepancy is that the Watchtower states that a wheat class became discernible about 30 years before 1914. By the Watchtower’s own admission then, since the International Bible Students associated with Charles Taze Russell had already separated themselves from the nominal churches of Christendom and had distinguished themselves by their engaging in a public ministry, why was it necessary for the angels to initiate a separation in 1918? Were not the Bible Students already completely separate and distinct from Christendom?
And as the article goes on to say, Babylon the great long ago “fell” and Jehovah’s Witnesses are the exclusive instrumentality that God has been using to publish the truth. But if that is the case, has not the harvest been accomplished already? Restated: Since Jehovah’s Witnesses and the churchgoers of Christendom are clearly distinguished and there is virtually no intermingling whatsoever, why is it necessary for the angels to continually uproot the weeds and bundle them up? What purpose is served?
If you are one of Jehovah’s Witnesses or perhaps studying with them, why not ask one of the elders in your local congregation to explain these contradictions and discrepancies? Or perhaps you might privately approach the Watchtower study conductor when this information is being studied in the congregation and ask him to clarify these things. If you are particularly bold, write a letter to Bethel or one of its many branch offices around the world. Ask them to explain these matters more fully. Who knows, you might actually get someone to think, and that is not always an easy thing to do.
A simple but telling question to ask is this: What is a harvest? I don’t mean in a figurative sense, but literally. The answer is obvious. It is a relatively short period of time at the conclusion of a longer period of growth when the crops are reaped. The harvest time does not extend over months and certainly not years. It is usually a critical time for farmers to make haste to gather in their crops before they are ruined by the onset of winter.
Jesus, of course, was thoroughly familiar with all aspects of nature and many of his listeners were simple farmers and fishers, which is why he spoke to them in terms they would be familiar with. That being the case, is it reasonable that Jesus intended for us to understand his parable of the harvest to be a period of time that stretched out over a century? Jehovah’s Witnesses reason well when it comes to matters of doctrine, why is it, though, that sound reasoning and sensibleness are set aside when it comes to matters of prophecy?
Perhaps the most devious and cunningly disarming thing passed off as the truth by the Governing Body is that the wheat and weeds are clearly discernible, at least by Jehovah’s Witnesses. But if that were true it would not be necessary for the angels to be involved at all. The true sons of the kingdom would aggregate and separate themselves from the imitation. The assumption is that the weeds do not have anything to do with the truth.
Take the case of the superfine apostles, as I’ve written about many times before. “Superfine apostles” was the sarcastic name with which Paul dubbed certain men in the Corinthian congregation. Obviously, they were men of some stature who were looked up to by the brothers and sisters in the congregation. And to buttress their authority they spoke disparagingly of Paul and criticized him because he had a weak presence and he apparently was not a notable speaker. Apparently, the superfine apostles were Greek orators who mesmerized their hearers. In other words, they gave good talks. (2 Corinthians 11)
The Watchtower likens the superfine apostles to the clergy of Christendom, but that is obviously a false comparison. The inspired apostle said that the superfine apostles had transformed themselves into ministers of righteousness, which he pointed out was no extraordinary thing since they were merely following the pattern of the Devil, who continually transforms himself into an angel of light. The point being, Satan tutored his false apostles in how to do everything to appear as genuine ministers of Christ, so as to be virtually indistinguishable from the true ones, including preaching and working alongside the anointed brothers and sisters as “ministers of righteousness.” But, as Paul warned, they were “deceitful workers.”
Since Satan is still very much the ruler of this world and he is most intent on misleading those who have been called by Jehovah, and in view of his past successes in infiltrating the people of God with his agents, why is it deemed unthinkable or impossible that the Devil could replicate his superfine apostles today in the form of a Governing Body or other individuals in positions of leadership within the Watchtower Society?
Paul was dismayed that the Corinthians, whom he commended for being reasonable, put up with such unreasonableness on the part of the fake apostles. If he were alive today the apostle might similarly wonder why Jehovah’s Witnesses put up with the unreasonableness of the Governing Body and their phony parousia.
The truth is, the harvest has not begun. But when it commences, it will be accomplished in a relatively short period of time. And since the harvest only affects the living, the sowing of the seed must occur immediately prior to the harvest – in the same season, as it were.
As the Watchtower noted in the previous article, there is a future judgment. And Christ is yet to distinguish the faithful slaves and the evil slaves and the wise virgins and the foolish virgins. That being true, it ought to be apparent that the wheat and the weeds have not been distinguished either. And they presently grow together among Jehovah’s Witnesses.